D&D General Why TSR-era D&D Will Always Be D&D


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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
The only real thing I can remember Planescape says about the Forgotten Realms is that natives of Toril are somewhat more savvy about the Planes than berks from other worlds. And that's about it.

Also, Dark Sun is not as locked off as one might believe- as the Githyanki found out in Triple Crown when they thought Athas would be easy pickings for conquest...
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Both, from what I understand (and fervently hope).
I mean I guess it could be fine, but I'm a little skeptical in that I think one or the other of the original settings, be it Spelljammer or Planescape, is going to be diluted by this cross pollinization. But I guess it's better than both settings languishing in obscurity?
 

I mean I guess it could be fine, but I'm a little skeptical in that I think one or the other of the original settings, be it Spelljammer or Planescape, is going to be diluted by this cross pollinization. But I guess it's better than both settings languishing in obscurity?
I don't actually think its necessarily better, but I have hope their's something usable in Spelljammer. The MC they gave everybody was pretty cool.
 

Its certainly painful trying to read a wall of text written in a style from the 1960s. Gramps.

I love Snarf's writing style. I wouldn't characterize it as 1960s. I would say it's pretty unique and draws on a range of influences. I think for those of us who grew up reading books, it looks like good and stylistic writing.
 


2. The % of D&D players who still prefer to play TSR era D&D is probably higher proportionally than the % of video gamers who still primarily play the Atari or original NES as their go-to video gaming experience.
3. 5e took off, in part because of going back to some pre-4e design elements and playstyles. You can't do that with a video game and expect the same level of success. You don't see PS5/Xbox1 devs going back to side-scrolling or top-down linear games with no save points, do you? It would....not be successful lol. Certainly not in comparison to 5e's success.

While I don't disagree with these points necessary I do think there are a lot of people who would happily buy classic video games if the controls match the game play. I grew up on atari, intellivision, Sierra games on the computer, and Nintendo. I don't play video games anymore. Sometimes I watch youtube video playthru's of those games. I would definitely consider buying a retro console that played those classic games but also made new games in those styles if it were well supported.
 

You mean back in the 60's?

I grew up in the 80s. I read books that were current, books from the 70s, 60s, 50s, and so on down to the 1800s and further back. But Snarf's writing style doesn't seem especially 1960s to me. Looks like a range of writing styles.

Either way, even if it were a 1960s style of writing: that isn't bad. A lot of great books were written during that period.
 

payn

Legend
I grew up in the 80s. I read books that were current, books from the 70s, 60s, 50s, and so on down to the 1800s and further back. But Snarf's writing style doesn't seem especially 1960s to me. Looks like a range of writing styles.

Either way, even if it were a 1960s style of writing: that isn't bad. A lot of great books were written during that period.
I was just making a funny. I love Snarf's posts.
 


Yora

Legend
While I don't disagree with these points necessary I do think there are a lot of people who would happily buy classic video games if the controls match the game play. I grew up on atari, intellivision, Sierra games on the computer, and Nintendo. I don't play video games anymore. Sometimes I watch youtube video playthru's of those games. I would definitely consider buying a retro console that played those classic games but also made new games in those styles if it were well supported.
People do still make such games, often deliberately with primitive graphics. And they have plenty of devoted fans. You just normally don't see them being big mainstream hits with a lot of exposure to people who aren't looking for them.

Just like old D&D.
 

Staffan

Legend
Also, Dark Sun is not as locked off as one might believe- as the Githyanki found out in Triple Crown when they thought Athas would be easy pickings for conquest...
I've mentioned this before, but Athas being planarly isolated was a late thing. There were at least two adventures that had important planar components (Black Spine and City by the Silt Sea), and you had demons and such popping up here and there in other adventures.

The Gray, as a planar concept, was first mentioned in the Prism Pentad novels – I think it was in The Obsidian Oracle, but I'm not 100%. There, it was not described as a planar barrier of any sort, just a place where dead souls go to eventually wither and be absorbed into the plane itself. It wasn't until Defilers & Preservers that someone thought this should mean that planar travel to and from Athas should be made more difficult.
 

Hussar

Legend
I've mentioned this before, but Athas being planarly isolated was a late thing. There were at least two adventures that had important planar components (Black Spine and City by the Silt Sea), and you had demons and such popping up here and there in other adventures.

The Gray, as a planar concept, was first mentioned in the Prism Pentad novels – I think it was in The Obsidian Oracle, but I'm not 100%. There, it was not described as a planar barrier of any sort, just a place where dead souls go to eventually wither and be absorbed into the plane itself. It wasn't until Defilers & Preservers that someone thought this should mean that planar travel to and from Athas should be made more difficult.
Heh. Funny how things change over time. :D
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Yeah, especially considering this tidbit in the Planeswalker's Handbook, where they mention the Githyanki invasion of Athas.

It's also here where it mentions the sheer number of portals laying about Toril and the highly active planeswalking wizard population.
 

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Orius

Hero
Why do the people who make the game hate Greyhawk so much? I mean TSR made Castle Greyhawk, that right there is cause for a riot if you're a Greyhawk fan.

Probably because Greyhawk was Gygax's world and after a certain point TSR and Gygax didn't exactly get along very well.

I mean they don't mind taking elements of the setting, like the Gods, but not so much as a City of Greyhawk. Could there be some legal reason?

Like I said before, a lot of the problems with Greyhawk are the fans. The don't like when Greyhawk doesn't get published, but they don't like when it does get published. On top of that, it's a vanilla setting, and D&D only needs one vanilla setting. Unfortunately for Greyhawk, that setting is the Realms.

The fans aren't they only problem. Gary didn't realize there would be a demand for setting material, and once he started writing official Greyhawk material, he only had a small group of people working on it. When he left TSR, they left with him. Then TSR bungled the setting several times in the late 1e/early 2e period which did a lot of lasting damage to the setting.


Anyway the bottom line is that WotC is free to do whatever they like with Greyhawk, but it probably would just further alienate the old fans while not drawing in new ones. So it's just easier to mine it for bit and pieces to fill a new book for them. They're not going to open it up because it's too tied into a lot of classic elements of the game.
 
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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Like I said before, a lot of the problems with Greyhawk are the fans. The don't like when Greyhawk doesn't get published, but they don't like when it does get published. On top of that, it's a vanilla setting, and D&D only needs one vanilla setting? Unfortunately for Greyhawk, that setting is the Realms.

Yeah but why Forgotten Realms gets to be that setting instead of Greyhawk is what puzzles me.
 

Orius

Hero
Because the Realms got a lot of support right from the start with not just game material, but video games, novels and so on while TSR was screwing up Greyhawk. The 1e/Greyhawk fans turned their backs on TSR while the Realms were there for the new people coming into the game, and even some of the old guard liked what they saw in the gray box.
 

Hussar

Legend
@Orius - I'm not sure I buy that fans are the issue here actually.

Look at the first three Paizo Adventure Paths. They are set in Greyhawk (although in a somewhat stealth manner) and are generally very, very well regarded. Ghosts of Saltmarsh did fantastically well and is one of the more popular WotC 5e campaign modules. Maybe not the most popular, but, certainly not the least. And, if you are a Canonfire! fan, you'll see lots and lots of fanmade changes to the setting.

Now, some of the changes have been less well received than others. The whole Greyhawk Wars thing is pretty divisive. And, frankly, rather unnecessary. It wasn't like you had so much material that a soft reset was even needed. OTOH, it did give us some pretty cool ideas too, so, it's a bit of both IMO.

But, I do agree why FR became the standard. Volume if nothing else. There's just SO MUCH FR material out there. And, now, a lot of it in things like wiki's, so it is even easier to access. Which makes it even easier to use.
 

I mean I guess it could be fine, but I'm a little skeptical in that I think one or the other of the original settings, be it Spelljammer or Planescape, is going to be diluted by this cross pollinization. But I guess it's better than both settings languishing in obscurity?
I think them being able to mix a bit, sounds quite fun.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
At some point, TSR began to "push" the Forgotten Realms. Whether to distance themselves from Gary or simply because it was still a newer property. Novels, comic books, even computer games, were made to focus on properties that were not Greyhawk- even Mystara got a few games, like the Capcom coin-op beat 'em up's, or the Sega game, which takes place in The Hollow World.

Many computer games (such as the SSI classics) took place in the Realms, though later we had computer games set in Ravenloft and even The Outer Planes!

But Greyhawk, despite being a source of many classic game elements like Vecna or Acererak, was pushed backwards. 3e started with some Greyhawk elements in the PHB, but then quickly WotC published Forgotten Realms books.

4e started with the Points of Light/Nentir Vale as it's default setting, but when the time came to produce other settings, the Forgotten Realms got the lion's share of the attention (but for once, the now-traditional "cataclysm to explain the edition changes" broke the FR fans).

And 5e continued by giving us...well a slice of the Realms, even as they imported things like, say, Acererak to some adventures.

But rarely has Greyhawk gotten any attention. Heck Vecna and Kas were actually punted into Ravenloft for a time!
 

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